FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 12, 2012
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES DELPHI AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS AWARDED $3.7 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR MICRO PRECISION LASERS
DOE Funding Will Help Delphi Develop Lasers to Expedite Manufacturing Process- Lasers Will Perfect Fuel Quantities and Combustion for Cleaner Emissions
Today’s Investment Complements Schumer’s Efforts to Restore Key DOE Fuel Cell Funding for Delphi
Schumer: Together with Potential Investments in Delphi's Fuel Cell, This Grant Will Support High-Tech Rochester Jobs
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC in Rochester will receive a grant totaling $3,700,000 in Department of Energy funding to pioneer a new energy-saving laser cutting technology. Specifically, Delphi will develop fast lasers that use micro precision cutting in a single-step manufacturing process to efficiently manufacture fuel injection systems. The laser technology is a leap forward to enable the production of fuel injection systems with greater precision. The better precision allows the vehicle's engine to better control the combustion process thereby better controlling emissions and boosting fuel economy. Moreover, this improved process will cut down on waste in the manufacturing process by reducing re-work and scrap rates, eliminating secondary processes such as etching, surface cleaning, or deburring, and increasing laser machining energy efficiency up to 20%–25% over standard practices.
“Delphi is a preeminent Rochester technology company as evidenced by its cutting edge work to create the world's first commercially available mobile solid oxide fuel cell unit. Like Delphi's fuel cell development, this most recent DOE investment in Delphi's cutting edge micro laser system is another Rochester innovation that will help fuel energy efficient automobiles on our roads and fuel high-tech jobs in Rochester,” said Senator Schumer. “As I continue my fight to restore fuel cell development funding in this year's budget to safeguard 60 local jobs and help Delphi bring its fuel cell to production, I applaud the DOE for this sound and complementary award.”
Schumer toured the Delphi plant in March when he first announced his push to restore the Department of Energy funding that was eliminated in the proposed 2013 budget and is critical to fuel cell technology development at Delphi in Henrietta. At the facility, Delphi is developing fuel cell technology that is up to 50% more efficient than a diesel engine, produces far fewer emissions, and can be run on readily available fuels, like gasoline, diesel, biofuels and natural gas. This critical research project supports about 60 jobs and has been in the works for more than 10 years, with the support of $22.6 million over the last four years from the Department of Energy’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) funding program. However, the proposed 2013 budget would have cut this program that is critical to the continued success and completion of Delphi’s research, which can carry the groundbreaking project into the production stage.
After the budget was revealed, Schumer called on his colleagues in the Senate in March to restore this SECA funding so that Delphi can complete the project which will play a key role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and developing a clean energy economy. Schumer's efforts succeeded in late April when the Senate Committee on Energy and Water passed legislation that would restore $25 million in federal SECA funding that would allow Delphi’s critical research to continue. The Committee’s decision to restore these cut funds is an important step forward towards ensuring Delphi can complete its research project. The legislation will now be sent to the full Senate for a vote.
Today's grant to Delphi to develop new micro precision laser technology is part of the Obama Administration’s Blueprint for an American economy built to last, which is making investments that support American leadership and global competiveness in manufacturing. The Energy Department awarded more than $54 million for 13 projects across the country to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs. These projects will develop cutting-edge manufacturing tools, techniques, and processes that will be able to save companies money by reducing the energy needed to power their facilities. These projects are a part of the Administration’s strategy to invest in emerging technologies that create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. companies in today’s global markets.